Events in History on May 21

  • 878 Syracuse is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily
  • 879 Pope John VIII gives blessings to duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of the Croatian state
  • 996 Pope Gregory V crowns his cousin Otto III as Holy Roman Emperor in St Peter's Basilica in Rome
  • 1040 King Henry III gives Utrecht the Groninger currency

Historic Event

1216 French crown prince Louis enters England, having been invited by barons at war with King John

Historic Event

1260 Hao Jing, envoy of Mongol leader Kublai Khan imprisoned by order of the high Chancellor of China, Jia Sidao at the Song Dynasty court of Emperor Lizong while attempting to negotiate with the Song

  • 1281 Kublai Khan's second invasion of Japan begins with an attack on Tsushima Island but meets fierce resistance; his troops are forced to withdraw
  • 1382 Earthquake centered on Dover Straits with estimated magnitude of 6.0 causes widespread damage, including to Canterbury Cathedral

Treaty of Interest

1420 Treaty of Troyes: Henry V of England and his heirs will inherit the throne of France upon the death of King Charles VI of France (later rendered moot by the military victory of Charles VII)

Historic Event

1471 King Edward IV enters London

Appointment of Interest

1499 Francisco De Bobadilla appointed Governor of the Indies, succeeding Christopher Columbus

  • 1502 Portuguese explorer João Da Nova discovers St Helena
  • 1602 Martha's Vineyard 1st sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold
  • 1674 General John Sobieski chosen King of Poland
  • 1683 West Indian Company sells 1/3 of Suriname

Historic Event

1725 The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I. It would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky.

  • 1758 Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War
  • 1792 Mount Unzen on Japan's Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami, killing about 15,000; Japan's deadliest volcanic eruption
  • 1793 Curacao Island Council forbids criticism of House of Orange

Historic Siege

1799 Napoleon and his forces abandon their siege of Acre after two months - turning point in French invasion of Egypt and Syria

  • 1809 Battle of Aspern-Essling: Austrian Archduke Charles beats Napoleon and his army. Napoleon's first defeat in 10 years.
  • 1832 1st US Democratic National Convention held in Baltimore
  • 1840 Captain William Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand; the North Island by treaty and the South Island by 'discovery'
  • 1846 1st steamship arrives in Hawaii

Historic Event

1854 Frederic Mistral, Joseph Roumanille, and five other Provencal poets found Félibrige, a literary and cultural association

  • 1856 Lawrence, Kansas, is captured and sacked by pro-slavery forces
  • 1861 Richmond, Virginia, is designated the Confederate Capital
  • 1863 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, begins
  • 1864 General David Hunter takes command of Department of West Virginia
  • 1864 Russia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile. The day is designated to be the Circassian Day of Mourning.
  • 1871 -July 28] French regular troops attack Commune of Paris; 17,000 die
  • 1879 Battle of Iquique: Chilean naval forces overcome Peruvian ships (War of the Pacific)

Historic Event

1881 American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton

  • 1894 22-year-old French Anarchist Émile Henry is executed by guillotine. His last words were reputed to be "Courage, camarades! Vive l'anarchie!"
  • 1897 Yerkes Observatory 40" (1m) refractor used for 1st time
  • 1898 US Assay Office in Seattle, Washington, authorized
  • 1904 France recalls its ambassador to the Vatican to protest the Pope's attempt to discipline two French bishops; this is yet another incident driving France and the Catholic Church apart
  • 1906 Louis H. Perlman patents a demountable tire carrying rim for cars
  • 1906 The US and Mexico sign an agreement over distribution of the waters of the Rio Grande, increasingly diverted to the US for irrigation

Historic Event

1910 Louis Botha becomes the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa

  • 1911 French troop enter Fez in Morocco to quell anti-European agitation
  • 1914 Greyhound Bus Co begins in Minnesota
  • 1916 Britain begins "Summer Time" (daylight saving time)
  • 1917 Leo Pinckney, 1st American drafted during WWI
  • 1917 The Great Fire of Atlanta: at least 10,000 people were displaced, but there was only one fatality
  • 1918 US House of Representatives passes amendment allowing women to vote
  • 1920 Mexican President Venustiano Carranza is executed by army generals after fleeing an armed rebellion in Mexico
  • 1921 Oldest radio station west of Mississippi River licensed in Greeley Co.

Historic Event

1922 Pulitzer prize awarded to Eugene O'Neill for his play "Anna Christie"

  • 1924 Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb kidnap and kill Bobby Franks to demonstrate their supposed intellectual superiority by committing a "perfect crime"
  • 1925 George Lloyd, Baron Lloyd of Dolobran, becomes British High Commissioner in Egypt
  • 1925 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsun leaves Spitsbergen with 2 seaplanes for the North Pole

Historic Event

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh, in the Spirit of St Louis, lands in Paris after the first solo air crossing of Atlantic

  • 1929 Automatic electric stock quotation board installed in NYC
  • 1929 Sergei Prokoviev's ballet "Prodigal Son" premieres in Paris

Amelia Earhart Flies Across the Atlantic

1932 After flying for 17 hours from Newfoundland, Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, becoming the 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman

Historic Event

1933 Mount Davidson Cross, San Francisco, lit by FDR via telegraph

  • 1934 Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes first US city to fingerprint its citizens
  • 1936 Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover's severed genitals in her hand. Her story soon becomes one of Japan's most notorious scandals.
  • 1940 Allied counter attack at Atrecht, northern France
  • 1940 AVRO-chairman Willem Vogt fires all Jewish employees
  • 1940 Paul Reynaud forms French government
  • 1941 German airforce occupies airport at Maleme, Crete
  • 1941 SS Robin Moor becomes the first US ship sunk by a U-boat during World War II
  • 1942 Convoy PQ16 departs Great Britain for Russia
  • 1946 Physicist Louis Slotin is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation while preparing a plutonium core experiment at the Los Alamos lab, he dies 9 days later and the accident ends all hands-on nuclear assembly work at Los Alamos

Historic Event

1950 Vietnamese troops of Ho Chi-Minh attack Cambodia

  • 1951 The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition - a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School.
  • 1952 Dutch Queen Juliana opens Amsterdam-Rhine Canal
  • 1953 French government of René Mayer resigns
  • 1954 US Twenty-sixth amendment to give 18-year-olds right to vote is defeated
  • 1955 1st transcontinental round-trip solo flight-sunrise to sunset
  • 1956 Jordan government of Said el-Mufti forms
  • 1956 US explodes 1st airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll

Historic Event

1957 French government of Guy Mollet resigns

  • 1958 Indonesian paratroopers reconquer Morotai Island
  • 1958 US performs nuclear test at Bikini Island (atmospheric tests)
  • 1959 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Children's Petting Farm opens (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • 1961 Governor Patterson declares martial law in Montgomery, Alabama
  • 1962 3 more Cleveland HR set AL record for most HR (26) over 8 games
  • 1964 1st nuclear-powered lighthouse begins operations (Chesapeake Bay)
  • 1964 Fire in Belgian resort kills 19
  • 1964 US begin intelligence flights above Laos
  • 1966 A "loyalist" group calling itself the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) issued a statement declaring war on the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
  • 1968 Nuclear-powered sub USS Scorpion, with 99 men, reported missing & is later found at the bottom of the ocean off Azores
  • 1968 USSR performs nuclear test (underground)
  • 1969 Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, aka Rosariazo, following the death of a 15-year-old student.

Murder of Interest

1969 Robert F. Kennedy's murderer Sirhan Sirhan sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment

  • 1970 National Guard mobilizes to quell disturbances at Ohio State University
  • 1970 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1971 National Guard mobilizes to quell riot in Chattanooga, Tennessee

White Night Riots

1971 White Night riots occur in San Francisco after Dan White is given a lenient sentence for assassinating Mayor George Moscone and the openly gay elected official Harvey Milk

  • 1972 "Heathen!" opens & closes at Billy Rose Theater NYC for 1 performance

Historic Event

1972 Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal

  • 1972 The Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) kidnaps and shoots dead William Best (19), a soldier in the Royal Irish Rangers stationed in Germany whilst on leave at home
  • 1975 Lowell W Perry confirmed as chairman of US Equal Opportunity Commission
  • 1975 Trial against Baader-Meinhof-group begins in Stuttgart
  • 1977 Albert Innaurato's "Gemini" premieres in NYC
  • 1977 Fire in hotel Duc de Brabant Brussels, kills 19
  • 1978 118 Unification church couples wed in England
  • 1978 Yamada Mumon Roshi appointed head of Zen Rinzai Sect

Historic Event

1979 Dan White convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and openly gay councilor Harvey Milk. The conviction on a lesser charge outraged the gay community and led to the White Night riots.

  • 1979 National Volksraad installed in Namibia
  • 1980 US Coast Guard Ensign Jean Marie Butler is 1st woman to graduate from US service academy
  • 1982 British troops land on Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic, to repel Argentine military invasion
  • 1983 Challenger moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida), for mating for STS-7 mission
  • 1985 Israel exchanges 1,150 prisoners with the PFLP-GC in return for 3 Israeli soldiers
  • 1986 Atlanta Brave Rafael Ramirez hits 4 doubles in a game
  • 1986 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1987 Military coup in Fiji under Lt. Col Sitivani Rabuka
  • 1987 Xignals PC Board BBS begins in Alabama
  • 1988 New building for the National Gallery of Canada, designed by Moshe Safdie, opens in Ottawa, Ontario [1]
  • 1988 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1990 Dow Jones avg hits a record 2,844.68
  • 1991 Ethiopia's Marxist president (Mengistu Haile Mariam) resigns
  • 1992 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • 1992 New Jersey Senate overrides Governor Florio's veto & lowers sales tax to 6%
  • 1993 Opposition leader Xanana Gusmao of East-Timor sentenced to life
  • 1993 Robin Smith scores 167 in England Texaco Trophy loss v Australia
  • 1993 Venezuela president Carlos Andres Perez fired
  • 1994 South Yemen secedes from Yemen
  • 1996 Blackout in many areas of Queens, NY
  • 1996 The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas are executed.
  • 1998 In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.

Historic Event

1998 Indonesian president Suharto resigns after 31 years in power

  • 2001 French Taubira law officially recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
  • 2001 The Enron Corporation's power generating venture in India, the Dabhol Power Company, serves formal notice that it will terminate its power supply contract and pull out
  • 2003 An earthquake hits northern Algeria killing more than 2,000 people.
  • 2004 Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbs Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu's record from the previous year.
  • 2004 Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault
  • 2006 The Republic of Montenegro holds a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Montenegrin people choose independence with a majority of 55%.
  • 2007 Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper, is badly damaged by fire in Greenwich, England.
  • 2012 120 people are killed and 350 injured by a suicide bomb in Sana'a, Yemen
  • 2012 13 people are killed and 22 people injured after a bus falls 80 metres off a cliff in Albania
  • 2014 José Mário Vaz is elected President of Guinea-Bissau

Agreement of Interest

2014 Russian President Putin signs agreements with China in Beijing in relation to trade and infrastructure

  • 2014 Thai army declares martial law and closes down several news stations
  • 2016 Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban is reportedly killed by a US drone in Pakistan

Historic Event

2017 Barnum & Bailey Circus performs for the last time at the Nassau Coliseum in NYC after 146 years [1]

  • 2018 Mushrooms have poisoned more than 800 in western Iran, killing 11
  • 2018 Teenager who started California's 2017 Eagle Creek Fire ordered to pay $36.6 million to cover damages by district judge
  • 2018 Truckers begin a 10 strike in Brazil, blocking roads in protest at the price of diesel leading to country-wide shortages

Historic Event

2018 US Justice Department says it is expanding its internal investigation into whether FBI infiltrated Donald Trump's 2016 campaign

  • 2019 Austria's far-right Freedom Party resigns from the ruling coalition after two of their ministers are sacked for offering government contracts for political influence in a video

Election of Interest

2019 Indonesian President Joko Widodo confirmed as winning re-election, defeating Prabowo Subianto with 55.5% of the vote

  • 2019 More than 600 people, 75% children, identified as HIV in a month in Sindh province, Pakistan, thought to be due to use of infected needles
  • 2019 Nepalese Sherpa Kami Rita sets a new record for the number of climbs of Mt Everest - 24
  • 2019 Oldest and most distant gravitational waves detected from collision of two black holes with first intermediate-mass black hole ever discovered, 7 billion light years away
  • 2019 Omani author Jokha Alharthi is the first Arabic writer to win the Man Booker International Prize for her novel "Celestial Bodies" with her translator Marilyn Booth
  • 2019 Protests across American cities defending abortion rights after several US states pass new abortion laws
  • 2019 Washington is the first US state to legalize human composting

Election of Interest

2022 Australian General Election: Scott Morrison's Coalition government defeated after nine years in power, Anthony Albanese's Labor Party wins the most seats